abp: guns

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Peter Gunn”Henry ManciniMusic From Peter Gunn1959

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s guns episode! Love ’em or hate ’em, they’re engrained in society and have been since their early conceptual days in China over a thousand years ago. Today we’re gonna talk about everything gun-related. Gun types, ammunition, gun laws, gun collectors, and more come up during the episode. We’re also going to raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer of The Clash toward the end of our show.

01:10 If you live in America in the 21st century then you are 100% aware of what a gun is. Many Americans love to reference their US Constitutional 2nd Amendment which states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

01:40 Much like the Bible, the Quran, and other outdated texts that are for some reason still referenced in this day and age, this amendment has words that are open to interpretation by the reader. Because of this, America fights over guns every single day, slogging through mass shooting after mass shooting just to send more thoughts and prayers and start the whole process over again. Unfortunately, also because of this, we have a full clip of songs about guns in the episode and had plenty to choose from.

02:10 Starting things off is The Rebel Spell with guns personified. “I Am A Rifle” speaks from the gun’s perspective and boy is it a harsh reality. Toddserious’ final lyric of the song gives me chills to hear and read. “I am a rifle, I am this blockade, I am the fire of a thousand murdered sons, I am resistance, I am your problem, I’m not leaving and I am your fault!” Extremely apt and on point. Sadly, Toddserious fell while rock climbing near Las Vegas in 2015 and died. What an unbelievably tragic end to something so hopeful. Propagandhi covered it in 2015 after Todd died, but here’s Todd and The Rebel Spell doing “I Am A Rifle”.

Set 1: The Wonderful Thing About Triggers

2“I Am A Rifle”The Rebel SpellFour Songs About Freedom2007
3“Machine Gun Etiquette”The DamnedMachine Gun Etiquette1979
4”The Kids Need Guns”The ChatsHigh Risk Behaviour2020
5“Gunbullet”The LillingtonsThe Too Late Show2006
6“Bikini Girls With Machine Guns”The CrampsStay Sick!1990

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 There’s definitely a market out there for people who love to look at scantily-clad women sporting an assault weapon. It reminds me of being a kid and seeing posters on garage walls of uncles who loved Harleys or that older brother character in 80s teen movies. Back then it seemed liked such a trucker/biker thing, but there’s nuance in fetish and clearly the concept attracted people all over the ideological spectrum. That was The Cramps doing “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns”.

00:40 The Lillingtons play that Ramones-core punk rock that other groups like Screeching Weasel, The Queers, The Riverdales, The Eyeliners, and Teenage Bottlerocket are known for. With simple lyrics, chords, and solos, the Wyoming punks pride themselves on simplicity. “Gunbullet” is a tune about a double agent who travels to West Iran to…mess up “their” plan.

01:10 Aussie punks The Chats play classic punk revival from down under. Their sound is nearly identical to the groups who first created it almost 30 years before The Chats were born. “The Kids Need Guns” references little Johnny and Petey; two American kids who shoot the kids at school after learning it from the TV. It sounds so unreal, yet it happens almost weekly in America.

01:40 One of those classic punk bands that has made an impact on The Chats was The Damned. A classic masterpiece in the punk scene, Machine Gun Etiquette. This album was harder and faster than their previous two records, perhaps due to having Lemmy Kilmister join Rat Scabies, Dave Vanian, and Captain Sensible in their offshoot effort Les Punks.

02:10 Coming up in our next set, we have some California skate punk paired up with Aussie and British garage acts. Leading off the set is the very first Rancid song I ever heard, “Gunshot”. Taken from Epitaph Records’ 1994 release Let’s Go, the track blasts out of a gun barrel with Lars Frederiksen’s hooky licks. Here’s Matt Freeman singing for the gang with “Gunshot”.

Intermission

7“Guns Of Navarone”Roland Alfonso And The Studio 1 OrchestraGuns Of Navarone1965

Set 2: Fully Loaded

8“Gunshot”RancidLet’s Go1994
9“Gun In Your Hand”LagwagonLet’s Talk About Feelings1998
10“The Gun”Wild SmilesAlways Tomorrow2014
11“Gun Man”Straight ArrowsOn Top!2018
12“The Gun In My Father’s Hand”Thee HeadcoatsGun In My Father’s Hand1995

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That songs gets dark fairly quickly. That’s kinda how Billy Childish writes, though. The legendary punker and painter has been kicking out music since the mid 1970s and has released well over 100 albums in that time. “The Gun In My Father’s Hand” was featured as the A-side to a double dad-hating single from 1996. The B-Side was titled “The Day I Beat My Father Up”. Given that Billy’s dad was thrown in jail for smuggling drugs, I’d imagine these are fairly autobiographical daddy ditties.

00:40 Straight Arrows played before that with the tune “Gun Man” from their 2018 album On Top!. The Sydney group recorded their debut album It’s Happening on “strictly 1950s equipment” according to their Bandcamp page. Something must be in the water down under, because the psych fuzz music they put out down there is unmatchable to the rest of the West.

01:10 Wild Smiles hail from Hampshire and slap their British take on surf fuzz with their 2014 album Always Tomorrow. The band’s sound has been described as a mix of the Beach Boys, the Velvet Underground, the Shoes, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Dinosaur Jr. Or, if you’d like to simplify that, surfgaze. Is that a thing? I mean its all under the psych umbrella anyway. “The Gun” from Always Tomorrow was sandwiched in the middle of this set.

01:40 Joey Cape and the SoCal skate punks Lagwagon dropped by for a cut from most-likely their best known album Let’s Talk About Feelings. The LP was released on Fat Wreck Chords in 1998. Original band drummer Derrick Plourde left the band after their 2nd album Hoss, but would go on to drum for Joey Cape’s other band Bad Astronaut up until Derrick’s suicide in 2005. According the Kris Roe of The Ataris, Derrick shot himself.

02:10 And on that note our next set is filled with songs about staying away from those damn hand cannons. Tijuana Panthers are here to proclaim that you not shoot your guns. In 2015, the group put out Max Baker, their 4th LP. They hail from SoCal and their spin of surf rock sounds like its been thrown through a wow and flutter K-hole and scooped back out with a can of Tecate. Maybe its their chord progression or writing style, but I dig it. Here’s “Don’t Shoot Your Guns” from the T-Panthers.

Intermission

13“Gunshot”The FireballsQuite A Party 7″1961

Set 3: Safety Switch

14“Don’t Shoot Your Guns”Tijuana PanthersMax Baker2015
15”Madmen With Guns”Suspect PartsSuspect Parts2017
16”Dead Man’s Gun”Thee Oh SeesA Weird Exits2016
17”Don’t Play With Guns”The Black AngelsIndigo Meadow2013
18“Six Barrel Shotgun”Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubTake Them On, On Your Own2003

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15  I can’t even imagine the weight, much less impact of a six barrel shotgun. A single barrel shotgun has enough kick to break weak shoulders, imagine that times six? Black Rebel Motorcycle Club hail from the Bay Area of San Francisco, California, one of a handful of Bay Area artists on the show today. “Six Barrel Shotgun” comes from their ’03 release Take Them On, On Your Own.

00:30  The indie oasis of Austin, Texas has been serving up amazing rock and roll since the early days with garage groups like Sam The Sham and The Pharaohs and the infamously dubbed first-ever psychedelic group; The 13th Floor Elevators. The Black Angels take some cues from the Elevators with their tripped out psych sound, although I don’t ever hear the jug making a psychedelic comeback anytime soon. Their cautionary tale “Don’t Play With Guns” was the only single released from their 2013 LP Indigo Meadow.

01:00 More Bay Area psych sounds played before that with John Dwyer and the gang playing “Dead Man’s Gun” from Thee Oh Sees’ 2016 LP A Weird Exits. That album, along with its companion EP An Odd Entrances, was the first for the band to feature dual drummers. At that point, they began experimenting with progressive rock style song structures and jams, with some songs lasting upwards of twenty minutes!

01:30 German band Suspect Parts played us a cut from their 2017 self-titled debut. Well, the re-release was self-titled. The first tour edition of the album was titled Run For Your Life. “Madmen With Guns” laments living in fear of being shot and in many parts of the Western world that reality is just that, reality. What really gets you thinking, is what is considered a “madman”.

01:50 Up next we’re gonna hear about a few types of guns. I could probably put together an entire playlist just on gun types with how many gun songs are out there. Let’s keep it basic today and stick to a few well-knowns. How about revolvers, pistols, shotguns and machine guns? In 1933, German playwright, poet and Nazi Hanns Johst wrote a play titled Schlageter that uttered the famous and very often misattributed line “When I hear the word culture, I release the safety on my Browning.” Gross. This line has been twisted up a bit over the years and often credited to other infamous Nazis. Case in point, in 1981 Clint Conley of Mission Of Burma wrote the next song and titled it “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”; a mistranslated version of the quote.

Intermission

19”Lone Gunman Theory”Le Grand MiercolesLone Gunman Theory2019

Set 4: Weapons, Weapons, Weapons

20”That’s When I Reach For My Revolver”Mission Of BurmaSignals, Calls And Marches1981
21”Pistol Of Fire”Kings Of LeonAha Shake Heartbreak2004
22”Shotgun Shooter”GØGGSGøggs2016
23”Machine Gun”RMBLRRMBLR2021
24”Guns”D.I.D.I.1983

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Casey Royer of DI and Adolescents fame wrote some complicated lyrics for the song “Guns”. It seems to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, calling out America’s love for guns and fear of them at the same time. Throw in a dash of libertarian-leave-me-alone and a few sprinkles of anti-authority and you have the makings of an essential 80s punk song. “Guns” was one of the first songs recorded by DI, released on their debut EP in 1983. You can find more DI on abp’s surfing and johnny episodes!

00:40 RMBLR formed out of the ashes of Atlanta glam punks The Heart Attacks. The Heart Attacks took cues from fellow Atlanta punks Black Lips and brought shock and awe to their stage presence, going for the typical rock and roll imagery and lifestyle. I mean, the lead singer’s name was Haircut. That was Chase Noles, who now goes by Chase Tail for RMBLRS. We heard “Machine Gun” from RMBLR’s 2021 self-titled EP.

01:10 Ty Segall side project Gøggs referenced the double barrel in their 2016 track “Shotgun Shooter”. Much like Suspect Parts’ tune from earlier, this song discusses the fear of being shot by someone on a rampage. Gøggs is comprised of Ty, Charles Mootheart, and Chris Shaw of Ex-Cult. We’ll hear more from Ty a bit later.

01:30 Kings of Leon’s first two LPs stand tall in the garage rock revival days of the early ought’s. Garage punk would eventually take over toward the end of the decade, but bands like Kings, White Stripes, Strokes, etc. paved the way for the return of rock and roll to the mainstream. Apparently, the band hadn’t fully formed or learned all their instruments by the time they were offered a record deal. So they locked themselves in a basement with an ounce of grass and practiced until they were ready. We heard “Pistol of Fire” from their 2nd album Aha Shake Heartbreak.

02:00 LA hardcore punk band The Bronx is up next with “Guns Without Bullets” from their self-titled debut; the first of 5 self-titled albums.  The Bronx also performs as a mariachi style band as Mariachi El Bronx and has released 3 full lengths under the pseudonym. Guns would be nothing without the ammo inside. Let’s take a stroll down the bullet-vard and see what we can find.

Intermission

25”The Bullet (Shinkansen)”Duke JordanSolo Masterpieces, Vol. 21992

Set 5: Bullet With Butterfly Wings

26“Guns Without Bullets”The BronxThe Bronx2003
27“Bullet And The Bullseye”The DistillersSing, Sing Death House2002
28“Bullet Proof Nothing”Ty SegallCaesar – 7″ Single2010
29“Bullet”Franz FerdinandRight Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action2013
30“Washington Bullets”The (International) Noise ConspiracyThe Cross Of My Calling2008

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 You may have recognized that tune if you’re a big Clash fan. And if you are a big Clash fan, you’ll like the next set! “Washington Bullets” is an anti-war song written by Joe Strummer that drums up the horrible history of US foreign policy. I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t a peaceful history and bullets were almost always present. Strummer claimed he had never heard of the NBA team of the same name, however they won the NBA championship in 1978, just two years before the song’s release. I have to imagine he subconsciously saw it on a newspaper or something, or else its just a coincidence. I mean why would they name the team that?

00:40 UK band Franz Ferdinand took their name from the historical figure of the same name, the Archduke of Austria. Historians have pretty much agreed that Franz Ferdinand’s assassination was the most immediate cause for World War I. Was it poison? Was it a bombing? The assassins tried the latter earlier in the morning that Franz was killed, but failed. So instead, you guessed it, Franz and his wife were shot point blank while riding in their car. Killed by a bullet, the title of the Franz Ferdinand track played.

00:55 Ty Segall crooned about being abused in “Bullet Proof Nothing” before Franz’s tune. I honestly cannot tell if he is sincerely asking to be treated like dirt in some sort of sadomasochistic way, or if he’s speaking tongue-in-cheek about having a bad relationship full of abuse. “I’m a bullet proof nothing to you, point blank target to your ways of abuse.” The cut comes from the Caesar single.

01:15 Brody Dalle and The Distillers were everywhere in the pop punk craze of the early ought’s. She famously hooked up with (at a very young and concerning age of 17) Tim Armstrong who helped launch her to stardom. Tim’s been accused of grooming Brody during their relationship, to the point that the man she left him for, Josh Homme, has threatened his life. Oddly enough, Brody would go on to marry Josh and have 3 children with him, but divorced him in 2019 citing domestic violence and drug/alcohol abuse. During court proceedings over their competing domestic violence restraining orders in January 2022, Dalle testified that Homme headbutted her so hard she “saw stars” and said he fantasized about murdering her. She was also fined and sentenced to community service a month prior for not honoring court ordered custody time for Josh and the children.

01:40 Although Tim’s allegedly made some very questionable decisions in his past, he has also put out some pretty good music. Its no secret that his favorite band is The Clash, and that was very evident in the late 90s reggae/dub phase of Rancid’s music. If you liked that “Washington Bullets” cover, you’ll like the next set. Here comes two gun cuts from Give ‘Em Enough Rope, followed by a couple of Clash-adjacent songs and a chill ending.

Intermission

31”Straight Shooter”Joe StrummerWalker Soundtrack1987

Set 6: Clashing Ideals

32”Guns On The Roof”The ClashGive ‘Em Enough Rope1978
33“Tommy Gun”The ClashGive ‘Em Enough Rope1978
34”Guns Of Brixton”Dropkick MurphysTKO Records Presents The 1998 Street Punk Title Bout1998
35”I Fought The Law”The CricketsIn Style With The Crickets1960
36”Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)”Nancy SinatraHow Does That Grab You?1966

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 I seriously considered a cover for that, but the original is just untouchable. The guitar tone, the eerie vibe, the Tarantino connection; it had to be the OG. Nancy was partnered up with Lee Hazlewood in the early 1960s at the request of her father Frank Sinatra. Lee was a hip new producer who had scored a hit with Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser”, one of the most famous guitar instrumentals in rock history. That came out in 1958, and in 1959 Lee would produce Duane again for his Especially For You LP, which featured Duane’s cover of “Peter Gunn”, the tune you hear now in the background.

00:40 Prior to Nancy was The Crickets with a very famous rebel tune. After Buddy Holly died, The Crickets pushed on and brought in new singer Earl Sinks to help them put out another LP. In Style With The Crickets was moderately successful, led by a handful of singles. I’d have to argue that “I Fought The Law” was ultimately the most successful song off the album, though. It may not have sold a lot, but its legacy is cemented in rock and roll history. The Clash covered it on their 1979 EP The Cost Of Living, released just 6 months after Give ‘Em Enough Rope.

01:10 Dropkick Murphys played their punk cover of the Clash’s “Guns Of Brixton”. The original version was sampled in 2004 by Cypress Hill for their song “What’s Your Number?“. It featured Tim Armstrong on guitar. Tim also can be heard shouting the title of Rancid’s 1994 album Let’s Go throughout the song. The Murphys cover comes from a 1998 split EP with Anti-Heros.

01:40 The Clash played a couple of gun songs to kick off the set; both from their sophomore album. The first was “Guns On The Roof”, a tune partially inspired by Topper Headon and Mick Jones shooting air-soft guns at racing pigeons on the roof of their rehearsal building and getting arrested. Most of the song, though, is about how controlled the world is by the gun. Live by the gun, die by the gun, I guess.

02:10 The second gun song was “Tommy Gun”. Big shocker here, but this one was also anti-gun. Its notable that drummer Topper Headon plays the snare like the sound of a tommy gun in many parts of the song. This was also done in “I Fought The Law”, with the line “robbin’ people with a six/zip gun” playing over a snare that hits six times.

02:20 And on that note, we must return the safety switch to the Browning. As difficult as it was at times, its been a real pleasure discussing the tools of death today, and I hope you had fun! Remember kids…don’t play with guns…don’t play with guns….

02:25 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Peter Gunn”Duane EddyPeter Gunn1959

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

abp: space

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Rocketship XL-3”Man Or Astro-Man?Your Weight On The Moon1993

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s space episode where intergalactic planetary audio comes flying towards your ears at the speed of light! Today we celebrate the great unknown, the dark skies above, our galaxy and every other one beyond it. We’re all about space today. Not necessarily that kind of space you need for safety or from others, but the space that exists beyond Earth’s atmosphere. We’ll talk about John Dwyer, Dirtnap Records, Ramones-core, blink 182, and a bunch of other interstellar stuff.

01:10 There seems to be a common draw amongst surf, garage, and punk rock songwriters that compels them to scribe about the stars. There’s a lot out there, and the unknown provides unlimited possibilities of storytelling.

01:40 I suppose I could venture a guess that isolation, loneliness, and the feeling of unwelcome might contribute to a writer’s ideas of leaving this planet. Maybe someone out there understands me, they think. Or maybe the thought of what could be out there is just so appetizing that it deserves a song. Space is that great unknown that we can actually see and hope to get to, leaving the imagination to run wild with possibilities.

02:10 One of the most common tropes in a space song is finding your interplanetary love interest out there in the stars. Let’s dig into a few songs about that very topic. Starting things off is the London power pop group The Only Ones. Their debut LP, released in 1978, included their biggest ever song “Another Girl, Another Planet”; a tune written about being in love on another planet. The Replacements famously covered this song, as well as blink 182 for the reality TV show Meet The Barkers. Here’s the original, though.

Set 1: Shuttle Love

2“Another Girl, Another Planet”The Only OnesThe Only Ones1978
3“Space Age Love”Zolar XSpace Age Love1973
4”Space Age Love Song”Brief CandlesThey Live We Sleep2006
5“2000 Light Years Away”Green DayKerplunk!1991
6“Stranded In Space”The RiverdalesTarantula2010

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Much like The Only Ones space tune, The Riverdales wrote about being in love on another planet. Sometimes it can feel that way, I suppose, when you find that one person in the world who gets you. The Riverdales were a musical outlet for Screeching Weasel frontman Ben Weasel when the band first broke up. They would serve as the band that Ben played and recorded with whenever SW wasn’t active. We heard “Stranded In Space” from their 2010 LP Tarantula.

00:40 The Riverdales first gained national notoriety when they opened for Green Day during their 1995 tour. Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong co-produced The Riverdales debut album. It was released on Lookout! Records, the same label that released Green Day’s Kerplunk! just a few years prior. “2000 Light Years Away” is Billie Joe’s ode to his future wife Adrienne, who lived in Minneapolis at the time while he was in Berkeley.

01:10 Brief Candles dropped in for a shoegaze, spaced-out cover of A Flock Of Seagulls’ “Space Age Love Song”. The band scoops their name up from an old track by The Zombies and is based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The mix on this brings the vocals to the background, but its a beautiful rendition nonetheless.

01:40 Before Brief Candles, we heard the legendary Zolar X. Zolar X was an alien band from another planet based out of LA in the early 70s. Zolar were early frontrunners in the glam scene in LA, playing Rodney’s English Disco and landing a residency at the Troubador. They only recorded one official single, of which ten copies were pressed in 1974. Jello Biafra is a fan, though, and in 2004 helped reissue a deluxe edition of their 1982 Timeless compilation.

02:10 We’ll talk more about Jello a bit later. Coming up next is a set about one of the most mysterious, yet well studying phenomenon; black holes. You know, those things in space that would suck you into another dimension or time? A collapsed supernova? First up is “Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine” from La Luz. La Luz had to cancel their spring 2022 tour due to the diagnosis of cancer in lead singer Shana Cleveland, but were back playing shows by June. Here’s the quasi-title track produced by Ty Segall from their 2015 LP Weirdo Shrine.

Intermission

7“Love In Space”Santo & JohnnyCome On In1962

Set 2: Black Hole Fun

8“Black Hole, Weirdo Shrine”La LuzWeirdo Shrine2015
9“Black Hole”The MeantraitorsFrom Psychobilly Land1991
10“Black Holes In Stereo”King TuffBlack Moon Spell2014
11“Big Black Hole”ObliviansSix Of The Best1995
12“Black Hole In My Mind”The LillingtonsDeath By Television1999

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 I wonder if any of The Lillingtons claim to have seen UFOs in that vast Wyoming night sky. More Ramones-core came to us out of the Equality State, with Kody and the gang doing “Black Hole In My Mind”.

00:40 Greg Cartwright and Oblivians dropped in for a blast from their 1995 EP Six Of The Best. “Big Black Hole” was one of a group of songs from two EPs that Oblivians recorded for Sympathy For The Record Industry that year, which were rereleased in 1996 as Sympathy Sessions. Due to the sexual nature of the cover art on both releases, I am questioning the subject matter of this big black hole song.

01:10 Kyle Thomas played us a King Tuff track called “Black Holes In Stereo” from his third LP Black Moon Spell. Kyle plays in Ty Segall’s band The Muggers, and Ty played drums on this albums opening title track. Bobby Harlow of Detroit band The Go, which featured Jack White early on, produced the album. The tune is an homage to the endlessness of the record world, with the vinyl disc on your turntable representing the black hole for you to get lost in.

01:40 Straight outta Russia, now. The Meantraitors were Russia’s first psychobilly band, well at least that’s what they claim. The vocals of singer Stas Bogorod stand out amongst other psychobilly bands, incorporating a Geddy Lee-like wail to the style. Their debut LP From Psychobilly Land remains their best known, and the band re-recorded “Black Hole” in 2022 with Stas singing down a pitch or two.

02:10 “Black Hole Sun….won’t you come….”. What a cool surf cover going on behind us now with a cut from the Fujiyama Monsters. Coming up next is a set about planets, some of them located right here in our Milky Way galaxy, in the “Solar System”. Riverdales guitarist Dan Vapid is about to re-educate us on the planets of our solar system with a song titled exactly that.

Intermission

13“Black Hole Sun”The Fujiyama MonstersFurther Beyond The Sea2009

Set 3: There Is No Plan(et) B

14“The Planets Of Our Solar System”Dan VapidAll Wound Up Vol. 22018
15”No Home Planet”ScrunchiesFeral Coast2022
16”Rogue Planet”Thee Oh SeesMutilator Defeated At Last2015
17”Teenagers From Mars”MisfitsStatic Age1997
18“One Way Ticket To Pluto”Dead KennedysBedtime For Democracy1986

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15  The cartoon imagery of blasting off to Pluto on a rocket is so great. Picture Ronald Reagan in a cosmonaut suit. Why not? Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys had already stopped playing shows and were on the verge of a split by the time Bedtime For Democracy came out. Jello and the band still haven’t made amends, but the rest of the members still flaunt the DK name in order to land gigs. Jello forever, though. We heard “One Way Ticket To Pluto” from them.

00:30 More 80s punk legends played before DK with the Misfits’ “Teenager From Mars”. There are a handful of versions of this track, with it being recorded multiple times during the late 70s/early 80s messy years of the Misfits discography. That bands has one of the most complicated release catalogs in existence. To make things mildly simple, we played the version first recorded for their Static Age LP, which was scrapped upon initial recording and not released until 1997.  

0:50 The Oh Sees are fans of 80s punk, as is evidenced not only by their sound on certain tracks but also by their live covers. The band covered 4 Black Flag tunes in 4 minutes during their 2020 pandemic album Live In Big Sur 2020 Henry Miller Memorial Library. Along with King Gizzard and Ty Segall, The Oh Sees have become the 21st century’s most prolific rockers, releasing over 20 albums in this century alone. Thank you John Dwyer.

01:20 Minneapolis’ Scrunchies tore through the set with their 2022 track “No Home Planet”. The cut comes from the groups sophomore release Feral Coast, out on Portland’s Dirtnap Records. Scrunchies shared members with Twin Cities punk group Kitten Forever, whom opened for Peach Kelli Pop in 2018. However, in June 2022, Kitten Forever called it quits. Ideally, that would leave more time for singer Laura Larson to continue with Scrunchies…

01:40 Alright well now we’re going to get weird with it. Mysterious, rather. Let’s talk about things in the sky and what is out there. The “truth is out there” according to The X-Files. We’re all about UFOs in this next set. Kicking it off is more Ramones-core from Chicago. Ben Weasel (Foster) reformed Screeching Weasel as soon as possible following an incident at 2011 SXSW where he got into an altercation with a female fan and club owner. The rest of the band quit after that, but Ben chugged on and stated “Screeching Weasel is never breaking up again. The band dies when I do.” Here’s Ben discussing his personal beliefs with “I Believe In UFOs”.

Intermission

19”The X-Files Theme”Mark SnowMusic From The X Files: 20th Anniversary Celebration2013

Set 4: Unidentified Flying Objects

20”I Believe In UFOs”Screeching WeaselBoogadaboogadaboogada!1988
21”UFO”WimpsRepeat2013
22”Books About UFOs”Hüsker DüNew Day Rising1985
23”Zero Zero UFO”The RamonesBrain Drain1989
24”UFO, Please Take Her Home”CoachwhipsGet Yer Body Next Ta Mine2002

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer originally had all of his different sounds separated by bands. OCS was his psych folk outfit, Zeigenbock Kopf was his electronic/noise psych outfit, Damaged Bug was his electronic/experimental outfit, Coachwhips was his noise punk outfit, etc. At this point, most of those sounds run through Osees as a spectrum of genres channeled through one band. But in 2002, Coachwhips was stomping out noise punk better than anyone. Ty Segall took notice and replicated it in his own way, landing him where he his today. We just heard “UFO, Please Take Her Home” from Coachwhips.

00:40 Nobody does Ramones-core better than…the Ramones. Although some of their later albums might suggest otherwise. Might. 1989’s Brain Drain was the last Ramones album with Dee Dee, because he left to be a rapper. Yes, that happened. Check out his Dee Dee King record some time, if you dare. Brain Drain does have some of the band’s bigger hits, though. “Pet Sematary” was their biggest selling single ever, and the album closer “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” has gained a large audience over the years. We heard “Zero Zero UFO” from that LP.

01:10 Moving West from New York City over to St. Paul, we heard a cut from Hüsker Dü. “Books About UFOs” is a bouncy little piano-laden punk ditty about a woman Grant Hart knows who is obsessed with space. Or maybe she isn’t even real and is just the subject of this little story. Either way, she’s just sittin’ in her room reading books about UFOs.

01:40 Wimps are Seattle’s best nerd punks. They’re not even that nerdy, but their vibe sort of is, and its amazing. They play punk tunes with odd chord changes, stops, and unique subject matter within the lyrics. Lead singer Rachel Rattner has the ability to channel the mundane, the under-thought-about day to day subjects like naps, work, frustration, food, and wet boxes. We heard “UFO” from their 2013 debut LP Repeat on Kill Rock Stars.

02:10 Up next is more little green men subject matter. Before UFOs were given an official title, the mid 20th century space craze had dubbed them “flying saucers”. Tell me, do you have any saucers in your kitchen these days? Who uses a saucer anymore? Anyway, we’ve moved on to a more scientific term. The Rezillos didn’t, though, and are here to tell us about when the little men from Venus and Mars came to visit.

Intermission

25”Spaced”[bsd.u][Late Night Bumps 2]2014

Set 5: We Come In Peace

26“Flying Saucer Attack”The RezillosCan’t Stand The Rezillos1978
27“Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll”Billy Lee Riley And The Little Green MenFlyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll1957
28“Astro”The White StripesThe White Stripes1999
29“Big Headed Alien”The AquadollsStoked On You2013
30“Space Guitar”The SpitsThe Spits2003

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That was The Spits with a song from The Spits. Which one you might ask? 3. The Spits albums are all self titled, but they don’t use that gimmicky color crap that Weezer is obsessed with. Its like they took a joke and just kept using it for some reason. The 3rd Spits album was released on Portland’s Dirtnap Records and features the cut “Space Guitar”.

00:40 Before The Spits, The Aquadolls dropped in for some mermaid rock and roll. The garage/surf trio from SoCal put out Stoked On You in 2013 with the LP released by Burger Records. One of the first songs on their Bandcamp page is called “I’m Your Burger Dream Girl” and oh my goodness does that song hit differently after the whole Burger Records sexual abuse and grooming fiasco. I highly doubt anyone would write that song these days, but maybe? Despite all the terrible shit, there was some great music put out by that label. We heard “Big Headed Alien” by The Aquadolls.

01:10 Maybe Tesla does the Astro? Jack White wrote the lyrics to “Astro” just before the band recorded it. It was initially an intrumental jam, but Jack decided to write it like a dance craze song from the 50s and 60s. See “Mashed Potato” or “The Twist”. The “Astro” is what you do in secret; like space gaze or read books about UFOs. Jack played with Bobby Harlow in The Go during this time, too. The song comes from the White Stripes’ debut 1999 self titled LP, produced by Jim Diamond of The Dirtbombs.

01:40 Billy Lee Riley recorded “Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll” in 1957 in Memphis for Sun Records. It was a hit, but nothing like his next song; “Red Hot”. “Red Hot” was climbing fast and about to make him a star, but then came Jerry Lee Lewis and his “Great Balls Of Fire”. There just wasn’t enough room at Sun Records for two men with hit singles about hot elements. Sun focused on promoting Jerry Lee, and Billy Lee faded away. Both songs made a comeback in the late 70s when Robert Gordon and Link Wray covered them.

02:10 Speaking of cover songs…how about we play a couple? First up is the first punk cover I ever heard. Back then, it was a mislabeled Limewire mp3 file titled “blink182-rocketman.mp3” that I had downloaded with the hopes of learning about more blink 182 songs. Instead I got a computer virus and this banger. My world was changed immediately and my fascination with punk covers lives on today. I mean, punk bands have been covering songs since Day 1. The Clash, anyone? Here’s Me First And The Gimme Gimmes doing Elton John’s “Rocket Man” from their 1997 debut LP Have A Ball.

Intermission

31”Space Cowboy”SaibIpanema2015

Set 6: Space Commodity

32“Rocket Man”Me First And The Gimme GimmesHave A Ball1997
33“50,000 Spaceships”Groovie GhouliesWorld Contact Day1996
34”Alien Motion Technology”The MugwumpsBanana Brain2007
35“A New Hope”blink 182Dude Ranch1997
36”Major Tom”The TravoltasThe Highschool Reunion2004

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Earth below us. Drifting, falling. Floating, weightless. Calling, calling home. We all know the melody, but only a handful of us understand what the Travoltas were singing about there. That was “Major Tom”, the song not written by David Bowie but totally taking place in the Bowie universe. Major Tom was the character in “Space Oddity” communicating back and forth between him and ground control. Peter Schilling took the character and placed him into a new space-themed track in the Reagan era, and then the Travoltas covered that song.

00:40 One of Ronald Reagan’s noteworthy policies was the creation of Star Wars. No, not the movie franchise. The Cold War heightened people’s nuclear missile panic to an all time high, and Ron didn’t like the idea of mutually assured destruction. So, he created this stupid ass named program to fund more military endeavors in the name of fear. Nevertheless, this tune references the real Star Wars. Mark Hoppus laments his love for Princess Leia in the 1997 blink 182 track “A New Hope”.

01:10 The Mugwumps hail from Wyoming and are possibly the least known group on the setlist today. In fact, I only discovered them through Teenage Bottlerocket’s Stealing The Covers album. The fellow Wyomingites, Wyomingans, Wyomingos, or whatever they’re called put out an album of cover tunes in 2017 that featured some very unknown tunes to the mainstream world. They gave the songs a whole new light and thankfully introduced us to a grip of other bands that rock that Ramones-core sound. The Mugwumps played us “Alien Motion Technology” from their 2007 LP Banana Brain.

01:40 More Lookout! Records punk rock bounced through the skull with Groovie Ghoulies’ “50,000 Spaceships”. The band held a perfect niche in the punk world for nearly 40 years, channeling pulp comics, classic horror and sci-fi, and adding in a splash of 60s bubblegum pop. The Ghoulies ended when founders Kepi and Roach, who were married since the start of the group, divorced in 2007.

02:10 And on that note, we’re blasting off! Its been a real pleasure spending time and space with you all today and I hope you enjoyed our galactic jams. Live long and prosper. May the force be with you. To infinity….and beyond!

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Space Oddity”The NeanderthalsThe Neanderthals In Space2005

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

abp: xmas

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal”Black FlamingosMerry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal2020

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s holiday episode! Today we get festive with the holiday cheer, scrooge-y with holiday grumps, and green with holiday envy. Holly and envy, what a Christmas combination! You can find a holiday playlist just about anywhere these days, with many of them featuring the classics we’ve all grown to love. Today on abp, we are venturing into unknown territory. Sure, you’ll hear a classic or two, or maybe a cover of one, but most of these songs are a bit more rare for this time of year, even though this time of year is the entire reason they were recorded!

01:10 There’s an unsurprisingly large amount of holiday punk and garage rock songs out there, and it was quite the challenge to limit this set to 30. Some topics are just more prevalent in rock and roll. A quick search on Spotify or Apple Music returns countless compilations of Christmas cookery, some of them legit releases and many of them fake playlists disguised as a formal release.

01:40 I suppose the reason for so many weird playlists or mixes is because many, many artists record and put out a Christmas song as a single or B-side only to stow it away for the rest of their years. Some recorded them as jokes or gags, some did it to fulfil contractual obligations, some just wanted to party by the punchbowl. Today, we get to dig into some of those obscure ones.

02:10 Many of you might recognize the song playing in the background. That’s the Black Flamingos covering John Williams’ brilliant Home Alone score track “The House”. The introduction song to the movie, Home Alone. Coming up and starting off our fun today, is one of the punk rock Christmas classics you hope to hear this time of year. Gwen Stefani and No Doubt covered this for the popular A Very Special Christmas series in 1997; just over a year after bringing The Vandals on tour with them as an opener. Yes, The Vandals opened for No Doubt. Here’s the story of Haji and Trevor, a turban-wearing punker and a skinhead, respectively, duking it out with a scimitar and num-chuks only to have Haji stop Trevor’s bleeding with his turban and for them both to have whiskey in the pub below. “Oi to the punks, oi to the skins, oi to the world and everyone wins…”

Set 1: He Goes By The Name Jesus And Steals Hubcaps From Cars…

2“Oi To The World”The VandalsOi To The World1996
3“Jingle Bells”The Blues MagoosJingle Bells – 7″ Single1967
4”Christmas”Chuck BerryBack Home1970
5“Run, Run Rudolph”The HumpersHappy Birthday, Baby Jesus – Compilation1993
6“Silent Night”The DickiesSilent Night – 7″ Single1978

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 What a classic! One of the oldest punk covers in existence also happens to be a Christmas song. Sounds about right. The Dickies share The Vandals’ knack for comedy and rock and roll with their jokey lyrics and superbly designed band logo. while also hailing from Southern California. I’d say The Dickies basically started the trend of the “punk cover”. Their debut featured covers of Black Sabbath and Barry McGuire songs along with their first few singles all being covers, including the one we just heard; “Silent Night”.

00:40 The Humpers jumped in to cover Chuck Berry’s smash hit “Run, Rudolph, Run”. They and many others stylize it as “Run, Run Rudolph”, though. Chuck put out the single in 1958 and it peaked at number 69 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2019, 62 years later, it hit number 45 on the same chart, setting a record for the largest gap between charting instances. The Humpers’ version came from the 1993 10″ Christmas punk rock compilation Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus.

01:10 Before that, we heard another Chuck Berry Christmas song. Chuck’s “Christmas” is a slower jam than its menacing holiday predecessor “Run, Run Rudolph”, but that song doesn’t reference spinning records with cocaine and cake! “Christmas” comes from Chuck’s 1970 blues rock album Back Home. a reference to his return to Chess Records after a few albums on Mercury.

01:40 One of the earliest psychedelic groups to form, The Blues Magoos started in NYC in 1964 as The Trenchcoats. After a couple years of lineup changes and name shifts, the band put out their debut album Psychedelic Lollipop in 1967. The album featured their lone hit “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet”, which in my opinion is basically Ricky Nelson’s “Summertime” cover dripping in brown acid. The following year, the Magoos put out a Christmas single “Jingle Bells” with the B-side “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”.

02:10 Up next is a song that celebrates the holiday many of us choose to observe this season for an excuse to air our grievances at one another. “I gotta lotta problems with you people, and now, you’re gonna hear about it!”. Its hard to find information on Pondicherry Bomb other than a little on their Bandcamp and some random Youtube videos. What I do know, though, is that they hail from Paris, France, play some cool surf/garage rock sounds, and put out an EP in 2015 called The Ginger. This one’s from a standalone single though in 2017, Festivus.

Intermission

7“Tidings Of Comfort And Joy”The VolcanicsChristmas Wassailing2020

Set 2: …For The Rest Of Us

8“Festivus”Pondichery BombFestivus2018
9“Deck The Halls”The SoaksDeck The Halls – Single2015
10“White Christmas”Bad ReligionChristmas Songs2013
11“Christmas Time”Dead GhostsLight Organ Records…With Bells On!2011
12“Xmas Time Again”Pointed SticksPower Pop Santa – 7″ Single2012

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Pointed Sticks hail from the land of Nardwuar; Vancouver, BC. They were originally active in the late 70s/early 80s, but reformed in the 21st century to continue the magic. They released their debut self-titled in 1980 along with a handful of singles around that time before splitting and reuniting in 2006. In 2012, they put out a Christmas single which included the power pop tune “Xmas Time Again”.

00:40 Vancouver is also home to the garage rock band Dead Ghosts. In 2011, Light Organ Records released a holiday sampler with some exclusive recordings on it from their then-lineup, including the lofi jangle “Christmas Time” from the Canadian foursome.

01:10 The original Irving Berlin-penned, Bing Crosby tune “White Christmas” is the highest selling single of all time with an estimated 50 million copies exchanged for dough. If you look up the most covered songs of all time, “White Christmas” lands at number 11 with 200+ covers. I wonder if they counted this version by Bad Religion?

01:40 The Soaks hail from SoCal, just like Bad Religion, although a bit further south down the coast. The San Diego trio channels their band’s region and fits in well amongst the waves. Their version of “Deck The Halls” alters the vocal melody while holding to the chords and it makes for a delightful holiday delicacy.

02:10 In our next set, we talk about the man…or creature…in red. The US basically bastardized what is now known as Santa Claus, with that exact term first being printed in the Rivington’s Gazette out of NYC, December of 1773. Of course, the legend and mythology behind Santa goes back many hundreds of years, to either Saint Nicholas of the 4th century Greeks bringing dowries to poor Christians, or even more recent to the merging of Father Christmas, Sinterklaas, and other European versions of the frequent flyer. Let’s start off with giving him the rock and roll treatment, though. Here’s “Rock And Roll Santa” from The 5.6.7.8’s.

Intermission

13“Christmas In Las Vegas”Los Straightjackets‘Tis The Season For…2002

Set 3: Not A Creature Was Stirring, Not Even A..

14“Rock And Roll Santa”The 5.6.7.8’sRock And Roll Santa – 7″ Single2003
15”Santa’s Coming (Ho, Ho, Ho)”The WogglesSanta’s Coming – Single2014
16”Father Christmas”The KinksFather Christmas – 7″ Single1977
17”Santa Mouse”Bob MorrisonSanta Mouse / It’s Christmas – 7″ Single1966
18“Surfin’ Santa”Lord Douglas ByronSurfin’ Santa – 7″ Single1964

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15  Lord Douglas Byron was the frontman for The Continentals (out of LA) in 1962. There are only two known singles recorded by him and the group, with Byron dropping the band’s name from the second release – “Surfin’ Santa”. The end of the tune sounds very similar to “Alley Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles, produced by Gary Paxton. Paxton is credited with producing this one too. I think he was on to something.

00:40  Much like Gary, Bob Morrison was a songwriter based our of LA in the late 60s who eventually moved on to country music in the ’70s. His most famous pen might be “Lookin’ For Love” by Johnny Lee from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack. Back in 1965, he recorded a few singles for Columbia Records, including the novelty tune “Santa Mouse”.

01:10 “Father Christmas” is not only a bigger hit in England, but there are still many, many Americans who have no idea who Father Christmas is. The Kinks’ Ray Davies wrote the tune about a Mall Santa getting accosted after putting on such a joyful face for all the little girls and boys. The song has punk elements to it, which is probably why its been covered by numerous punk bands, such as Bad Religion.

01:40 The Woggles released a benefit album in 2019 for Jeff Walls, aka The Flesh Hammer, one of their founding members. Jeff died of a rare pulmonary disease in May of that year. The band features The Mighty Manfred, a regular DJ on Little Steven’s Underground Garage. The benefit is a compilation of earlier recordings, including one from their 2014 Christmas single Santa’s Coming, which we just heard.

02:10 Alright, continuing on with the surf theme, let’s kick of the next set with one of the pioneering surf groups, The Surfaris. Perhaps thrown in the the hat with other surf rock legends like the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, The Surfaris reign supreme due to their early play in the game, and also due to one of the most iconic drum solos in music from “Wipe Out”. This track, though, comes from a single released a few months after “Wipe Out”, their Christmas single “A Surfer’s Christmas List”. Santa, can you please just bring him some baggies and a customized woody?

Intermission

19”Sleigh Ride” The Vara-TonesHave Yourself A “Vara”
Merry Christmas!
2011

Set 4: Surfin’ Santa’s Got Hockey Hair

20”A Surfer’s Christmas List”The SurfarisA Surfer’s Christmas List – 7″ Single1963
21”Santa And The Sidewalk Surfer”The TurtlesHappy Together Again!1974
22”Little Saint Nick”Best CoastIndie For The Holidays – Amazon Exclusive2019
23”Santa Has A Mullet”Nerf HerderHi-Voltage Christmas Rock2000
24”Santa Claus”Thee HeadcoateesSanta Claus – 7″ Single1992

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Thee Wild Billy Childish is heard at the beginning of that last track, a cover of The Sonics’ “Santa Claus” done by Billy’s all-women protégé band Thee Headcoatees. Originally performing as The Delmonas, once Holly Golightly joined them for a cameo, Billy renamed them and they began their own storied career. More from Holly later.

00:40 Can we even really be sure that Santa doesn’t have a mullet? I think Nerf Herder makes a strong point here. Comes from the land of ice (hockey), always wears a hat with long flowing white locks out the back, has friends named Rudy, Don, Blitz, etc. What a great tune from their ultra rare holiday EP Hi-Voltage Christmas Rock from 2002.

01:10 More SoCal rock played before that with California coastal advocates Best Coast. Named as such to match Bethany Constantino’s initials, but also to plug the west coast as the best. They channeled their surf-rock ancestors the Beach Boys with a cover of “Little Saint Nick”, taken from an Amazon exclusive holiday playlist in 2019.

01:40 Before Best Coast, we played more surfin’ Santa satire from, you guessed it, Southern California. I heard they like to surf there. The Turtles were out of LA and hit it big with “Happy Together” but not before recording a few LPs and singles for White Whale. One of those singles, “Santa And The Sidewalk Surfer” wasn’t released officially until their 1974 compilation LP Happy Together Again.

02:10 While many of us who celebrate this time of year want nothing but a perfect, snowy white day with everything going our way, that almost never happens. In our next set, we hear about some holiday mishaps and non-ideal conditions to celebrate. Perhaps one of the most famous holiday mishaps, is the story of Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer. You know, the reindeer whose nose glowed red and lighted the way for Santa’s sleigh? Totally logical. Here’s the Galaxies out of the Pacific Northwest USA from the Merry Christmas garage rock compilation in 1965 singing about that magical flying hooved creature.

Intermission

25”Skating”Vince Guaraldi TrioA Charlie Brown Christmas1965

Set 5: Christ-mishaps

26“Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer”The GalaxiesMerry Christmas – Compilation1965
27“Christmas Tree On Fire”Holly GolightlyChristmas Tree On Fire – 7″ Single2006
28“Rain, Sleet, Snow”Paul Revere & The RaidersA Christmas Present…And Past1967
29“Gingerbread Man”Tommy James & The ShondellsMony Mony1968
30“Christmas In Baghdad”Black LipsMerry Christmas – 7″2007

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 There’s spending Christmas alone, and then there’s spending Christmas alone on a cot in a tent in a warzone. The Black Lips’ “Christmas In Baghdad” is one of the most depressing holiday songs around with lyrics pining over wanting to go home and not end up dead, face-down in the sand. Too real, man. To all those soldiers stuck somewhere during the holidays, even if you want to be there, this ones for you.

00:40 Tommy James & The Shondells were riding high in 1968 after their titular single “Mony Mony” hit the airwaves. Their album of the same name reached #193 on the Billboard 200, and when the next LP was due to be released, the first single, “Do Something To Me” featured the B-side “Gingerbread Man”, which was actually taken from Mony Mony.

01:10 Another sixties garage staple played prior to that with Paul Revere And The Raiders doing “Rain, Sleet, Snow”. The group was waning in popularity by 1967 with the tide changing toward a more psychedelic sound than the standard pop rock. So, naturally, the band turned up the fuzz and wah and made a Christmas album. It works though!

01:40 Holly Golightly covered a lesser-known songwriter’s ode to a burning evergreen. Tom Heinl, the Eugene, Oregon based musician wrote “Christmas Tree On Fire” for his 2003 album With Or Without Me. The album also featured a second round of every song after the final track, with the vocals removed. Tom called the “Stereoke” tracks and was hoping you’d sing along. Holly released her cover as a standalone single in 2006.

02:10 Alright, Christmas night is fast approaching and we’ve got one more set to go. Up next are some real classic holiday songs out of the punk world. blink-182 took their sound in a new direction after reforming and adding Tom Delonge-replacement Matt Skiba to the lineup. Their early records still stand with the best 90s skate punk, though. In 1997, just after releasing Dude Ranch, the band recorded “I Won’t Be Home For Christmas” for KROQ’s annual holiday concert/party. This was one of the last recordings to feature their original drummer Scott Raynor. Scott, this one’s for you, sir. Here’s Mark, Tom, and Scott doing their holiday jam.

Intermission

31”Plump Righteous”King Khan & The BBQ ShowMerry Christmas – 7″2007

Set 6: New Year’s Christmas

32”I Won’t Be Home For Christmas”blink-182I Won’t Be Home For Christmas – Single1997
33“Every Day Is Christmas”Sass DragonsSnacking Is For Sissies – Digital EP2007
34”Sweet Christmas”Shonen KnifeSweet Christmas – Single2011
35”Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”The RamonesBrain Drain1989
36”I Wish It Was Christmas Today”Julian CasablancasI Wish It Was Christmas Today – Single2009

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That song was destined for greatness the moment it hit the airwaves on December 9th, 2000. Saturday Night Live premiered their Season’s Greeting bit with an original tune performed by Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, and Tracy Morgan. The song was catchy. So catchy, that fellow NYC native Julian Casablancas of The Strokes recorded this version for a standalone single to his solo album 9 years later.

00:40 More NYC holiday rock before that with The Ramones doing their famous holiday tune “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)”. The song’s been covered by Bowling For Soup, Mattiel, Asobi Seksu, and even Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul. Yep, that Little Steven! It also proclaims a great message. Maybe just for one night, we don’t have to fight.

01:10 Though inspired by The Ramones, Shonen Knife totally outlasted them as a punk band. The Japanese all-women trio formed in 1981 and found notoriety in America due to Kurt Cobain putting their debut tape on his “Top 50 by Nirvana” list found in his autobiography. Well, that came later, they actually opened for Nirvana on their 1991 Nevermind tour and thought the Seattle trio looked scary and very grunge. Ha! We heard “Sweet Christmas”, a single from 2007.

01:40 From the Big Apple over to the Windy City, Sass Dragons hail from the Midwest’s largest metropolis, Chicago. The punk trio contributed their 2007 song “Every Day Is Christmas” from their Snacking For Sissies split to the Chicago-based band comp Half-Assed Chicago on Johann’s Face Records.

02:10 Well that brings us to the end of the episode. I hope you enjoyed some of these tracks and facts and welcome you to join abp again next time! Now go open that “Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis” and learn about how she got pregnant…or didn’t.

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”The House”John WilliamsHome Alone
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1982

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

abp: johnny

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TitleArtistAlbumYear
1“Johnny One Note”Ted Heath And His MusicBig Band Percussion1961

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s Johnny episode!  Today we are going to dive into the phenomenon that surrounds an ideal of a man named “Johnny”. Now, I bet you could name at least a handful of songs that mention Johnny. I bet you could also name a bunch of songs sang by a Johnny (Rotten, Cash, Nash, Karate). Johnny is forever and Johnny is never.

00:40 Johnny seems to be the go-to character for rock songs.  It seems like everyone and their mother Mary has written about a Johnny, or vicariously lived through Johnny in the music.  John has been in the top 20 most popular baby names of the U.S. since the census began.  It was the most popular name for males until 1924 but still remains in the top 20 to this day. Other forms of John include Jon, Jonathan, Jack or Jackie.  We’re gonna stick to just Johnny today.

01:10 A bit later in the episode, we’ll be treated to a meta Johnny couple of sets. NOFX’s “Jaw, Knee, Music” quotes lyrics from a grip of punk songs about our titular subject matter. I’m gonna play at least 10 of those references. More might be scattered throughout the show.

01:40 Kicking off today’s episode is the song that started it all. Well, it wasn’t the first “Johnny” song by any means, but this song started the mythos of Johnny in rock and roll music. Not only did Chuck Berry launch an entire new genre with his new rhythm and blues sound, “rock and roll”, but he also started the legend of Johnny. And for those of you (like myself) who weren’t around when this song hit the airwaves, maybe this channels something in you to time travel…

02:10 Berry propped up Johnny as a rock star. A guitar god from the backwoods of Louisiana. That may sound a bit autobiographical for Chuck and that’s because it partially was. Chuck took parts from Bob Wills’ “Ida May” and gave it a new sound to create his first single “Maybellene”. For “Johnny” he lifted the guitar intro from Louis Jordan’s “Ain’t That Just Like A Woman“. Alright fellas, well “here’s a blues riff in B, watch me for the changes and..try to keep up.” Here is “Johnny B. Goode”.

Set 1: Jonathan, Be Well

2“Johnny B. Goode”Chuck BerryJohnny B. Goode / Around & Around1957
3“Bye Bye Johnny”The Rolling StonesThe Rolling Stones EP1964
4“Look Out Johnny”ProtexStrange Obsessions2010
5“Johnny Better Get”Zero BoysHistory Of…1984
6“Johnny”Ty SegallLemons2009

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Whew!  That was garage rock lo-fi staple, Ty Segall.  Ty is by far one of the most productive musicians in garage rock.  After releasing his debut album in 2008, Ty put out over fifteen albums with various bands in the span of a decade.  He released three albums in 2012 alone.  This dude doesn’t stop! From early on in his career, that was “Johnny” from Lemons.   

00:40 Before Ty, we were treated with some Zero Boys. The Indiana punks put out one EP, Living In The 80s, and one LP, Vicious Circle before splitting up in 1983. They recorded songs for a second album but split before finishing it. One of those recordings was “Johnny Better Get”, and was included on the compilation album that featured those lost songs; History Of…

01:10 With our first taste of Northern Ireland punk rock today, that was Protex. The Clash are allegedly the origination of punk rock in Belfast. They were scheduled to play there in 1977 but the show was cancelled by the insurance company supporting the band. They were scared. The band still made a profound impact and launched a scene that would generate bands like Stiff Little Fingers, Rudi, Protex, and many more. Protex even took their band name from a Clash song; “Protex Blue”. They played “Look Out Johnny” after the Stones.

01:40 Chuck Berry actually wrote five songs in total about his famed Johnny. After the success of “Johnny B. Goode”, Chuck would go on to write “Johnny B. Blues”, “Go Go Go”, “Lady B. Goode”, and “Bye Bye Johnny”; the latter of which was covered by The Rolling Stones. The Stones released their eponymous debut EP in January of 1964. “Bye Bye Johnny” was the lead track on the album, leaving the absolute possibility that this track was the first Stones song some people heard.  

02:10 Chuck once said he hopes Bob Dylan lives ’til 100 and that he (Chuck) lives forever. The two formed a bond later in life that lasted until Chuck’s death in 2017. Chuck didn’t live forever, but his music will and he can keep us forever young. Some say Dylan helped create rap music with this next song. I’m not so sure about that, but he sure does quite the poetry slam. Here’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” from Bobby D.

Intermission

7“Johnny Fool”Frankie & The Pool BoysFrankie & The Pool Boys2008

Set 2: Ride, Johnny, Ride

8“Subterranean Homesick Blues”Bob DylanBringing It All Back Home1965
9“Johnny Was A Good Boy”Mystery TrendJohnny Was A Good Boy / A House On The Hill1967
10“Bullet”The MisfitsBullet1978
11“No Colt, No Johnny”Death LensDeathFrights2014
12“Jaw Knee Music”NOFXRock Against Bush Vol. 12004

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Fat Mike is such a punny guy. “Jaw Knee Music” caps off the set but will remain in our hearts and minds for the next half hour or so. When Mike started punkvoter.com to oust Bush Jr. from the White House in 2004, he was forced to forgo some of those punk rock hassles of selling out and mainstream media coverage. He appeared on Dennis Miller, the band played on Conan O’Brien, and they would register voters at Warped Tour. Too bad it was all for not. During that time, Fat Wreck Chords put out the Rock Against Bush compilations, which would feature unreleased cuts from some pretty big names; including an exclusive from Green Day. NOFX contributed “Jaw Knee Music” to the first comp, a song comprised of punk rock references all in the name of Johnny.

00:40 Like NOFX, Death Lens started out in Los Angeles. Also like NOFX, they’ve released a few split albums with some other stellar bands. Their first split with The Frights was titled DeathFrights and came out in 2014. It featured two originals from each band, one cover of the other band’s tune, and one collaboration song. The original version of “No Colt, No Johnny” is on this EP.

01:10 “Ride, Johnny, Ride!” The Misfits’ debut single Cough/Cool may have been recorded without a guitar, but possessed all of the demonic attitude for a Misfits record. The single, released by Glenn Danzig’s Blank Records, would stand out only to get Mercury Records to donate 30 hours of studio time to the band in exchange for the rights to Blank Records trademark. The Misfits used that to record 13 songs, none of which anyone wanted to release. So in true punk DIY fashion, they released it themselves EP by EP, starting with their 2nd EP Bullet.

01:40 On Dylan’s shotgun blast song, “Like A Rolling Stone”, he croons “You say you never compromise/with the mystery tramp/but now you realize”. The Mystery Trend misheard that lyric, although Mystery Trend is a great band name. They couldn’t get their career to take off along with all of the other San Francisco Sound psychedelic acts of that era, perhaps due to band member cycling or to the lack of promotion from Verve Records. They did release one single in 1967, though, “Johnny Was A Good Boy”.

02:10 Starting into our Jaw Knee Music sets now, here’s So-Cal band D.I. The lyrics to this song also start off “Jaw Knee Music” and feature our beloved Johnny having a problem and being out of control. Quite the change from that Southern backwoods Louisiana boy who could play a guitar like ringing a bell. Here’s “Johnny’s Got A Problem”.

Intermission

13“Stay Away From My Johnny (Instrumental)”Freda Gray & The RocketeersStay Away From My Johnny1966

Set 3: Jaw, Knee, Rum, Own

14“Johnny’s Got A Problem”D.I.Horse Bites Dog Cries1985
15“Johnny Hit And Run Paulene”XLos Angeles1980
16“Johnny, Are You Queer?”Josie CottonConvertible Music1982
17“Johnny Twobags”The VandalsLive Fast Diarrhea1995
18“Johnny’s Gonna Die”The ReplacementsSorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash1981

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Wrapping up the first Jaw Knee Music set of the day, that was The Replacements’ “Johnny’s Gonna Die” from their 1981 debut LP Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash.  Fat Mike quoted the song verbatim with the line “Johnny always needs more than he takes/Forgets a couple chords/Forgets a couple breaks”.  The track would turn out to be the slowest and longest on an 18 track-36 minute ear blast of an album.  

00:40 The Vandals took issue with what they saw as hypocrisy when someone who had it pretty good decided to sing the blues. The blues are for when you don’t have it pretty good, right? “Johnny Twobags” is the story of a guy who thinks he has it rough, but when put into perspective, he’s just having a bad day. From the 1995 punsationally-named LP Live Fast Diarrhea, that was “Johnny Twobags”.

01:10 In verse three of “Jaw Knee”, Mike asks “Johnny, is he queer?”.  In the late 70’s, Josie Cotton moved to Los Angeles from Texas and found herself in the blooming punk scene.  After hooking up with Larson and Bobby Paine, Josie was offered the track and included it on her 1982 album Convertible Music.  She would also appear in Valley Girl, but after a second musical effort in 1984 would she would ultimately fade out of the scene.

01:40 X stopped by with “Johnny Hit And Run Paulene” from their debut album Los Angeles. Although they fit in perfectly well with their drugged-out scene cohorts, X’s angle was purposefully void. No band name (X), no bass player (John Doe). X crossed rhythm & blues guitar styles with punk rock fervor, resulting in a kind of 50s greaser meets 80s speed freak vibe.

02:10 Fat Mike also sang the line “Johnny says he’s bound by only six strings to this world”; a direct lyric lift from the Bouncing Souls song “The Ballad Of Johnny X”.  Originally recorded for the Punk Sucks compilation, the track would be re-recorded for their sophomore album Maniacal Laughter later that year and both tracks feature the actual Johnny X on them. Johnny X is Mike Cavallaro, a comic book writer and artist that went to the same high school as the Souls. Once again, Johnny is someone’s alter ego. Here’s “The Ballad of Johnny X”.

Intermission

19“Johnny October”The ChallengersGo Sidewalk Surfing!1964

Set 4: Here’s Johnny!

20“The Ballad Of Johnny X”Bouncing SoulsJohnny X1995
21“Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts”Less Than JakeLosing Streak1996
22“The Ballad Of Jimmy & Johnny”RancidLet’s Go1994
23“Degenerated”Reagan YouthYouth Anthems For The New Order1984
24“Johnny Was”Stiff Little FingersInflammable Material1979

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Stiff Little Fingers’ version of “Johnny Was” doubles the track time of the original. The original cut, done by Bob Marley on Rastaman Vibration, was credited to his wife Rita upon release. Bob was in contractual standoffs with Cayman music and rather than battle them in court, he gave all credits to his friends and family with hopes to provide for them using future earnings from the music. Mike sings “Johnny was a good man” in reference to this song.

00:40 According to Reagan Youth, if you rang a bell, Johnny would start to drool. Also, Johnny “wastes his days eating ‘ludes”, was “a teenage vegetable”, and was “a mindless brainwashed pig”. All of those descriptors are from Reagan Youth’s “Degenerated”, fully repurposed by NOFX for the theme. Remember when this song was covered in that Airheads movie?

01:10 Fat Mike soap-boxed fellow Bay Area punkers Rancid by placing some of their Johnny lyrics in his composition. Rancid released Let’s Go in 1994 and rode the mid-90s punk/alternative wave until going full reggae-rock band by 1998. Let’s Go introduced us to Lars Frederiksen, their 2nd guitarist, and also included the song “The Ballad Of Jimmy And Johnny”. The band would return to their punk roots on their 2000 self titled release.

01:40 Towards the end of “Jaw Knee Music”, Fat Mike can be heard singing “Johnny questions sellout bands”. Before Rancid, Less Than Jake played us “Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts” from their 1996 album Losing Streak. LTJ was one of the more underground ska bands that emerged in that late 90s weird ska punk phase, leaving the fame to the Bosstones or Reel Big Fish.

02:10 Alright, well that’s done. That was fun! Coming up next is a continuation of what Johnny was. According to The Adicts, “Johnny Was A Soldier”. Furthermore, Johnny was an amputee; possibly an angry amputee? Is this what Fat Mike is referencing? The Adicts are droogs incarnate, the gang members from Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange. From their sophomore album, Sound Of Music, here’s “Johnny Was A Soldier”.

Intermission

25“Johnny Guitar”La Playa SextetJohnny Guitar1954

Set 5: Thee Johnnies

26“Johnny Was A Soldier”The AdictsSound Of Music1982
27“I Love Johnny Bravo”The DiaboliksThree Fur Burgers…And A Hot Chilli Dog To Go!2000
28“Johnny And I”Thee AttacksStrikes Back2016
29“Johnny Come Lately”The WogglesRagged But Right2003
30“Johnny 99”The Loved OnesDistractions2009

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Bruce Springsteen wrote “Johnny 99” during his recording sessions for Nebraska after reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.  The entire album is bleak and quiet, with topics limited to murder, despair, and longing; its amazing.  Philadelphia, PA punk band The Loved Ones covered Bruce’s “Johnny 99” on their Distractions EP and brought the song into a whole new light.

00:40 The Woggles are led by the Professor Mighty Manfred Jones. He hosts a radio show on Little Steven’s Underground Garage chock full of music that would fit in perfectly well with abp’s episodes. Little Steven signed The Woggles to his Wicked Cool record label right after the release of their 2003 LP Ragged But Right. From that LP, that was “Johnny Come Lately”.

01:10 The Attacks are a Danish garage rock revival band that broke up a year before releasing their reunion LP Strikes Back. Then they broke up again. That album included a cool cover of a techno song from another Danish group Superheroes that originally appeared on their label’s 15 year anniversary compilation Saluting The Crunchy Frog in 2009. That was “Johnny And I”.

01:40 The Diaboliks were a little-known garage rock band from the 90’s. Featuring a mostly female lineup, the band would put out a mixtape of an LP as a debut, a few EPs, and one full-length LP in 2000.  Lineup changes and band tension led them to split after the release of their full-length Three Fur Burgers…And A Hot Chilli Dog To Go!;  where we lifted “I Love Johnny Bravo” from.

02:10 Dead Moon was comprised of Portland legends Fred and Toody Cole along with Andrew Loomis. Fred engineered most of the band’s recordings using the mono lathe that the Kingsmen, another Portland group, used for “Louie Louie”. Dead Moon carried the torch for garage rock revival in the 80s, keeping their sound limited to the capabilities of a few instruments and analog tape. One of their more influential and well-known songs is up now. Here’s “Johnny’s Got A Gun” from their 1990 LP Defiance.

Intermission

31“Pipeline”Johnny ThundersSo Alone1978

Set 6: Joanie And Johnny

32“Johnny’s Got A Gun”Dead MoonDefiance1990
33“Johnny Got A Gun”The GizmosRock & Roll Don’t Come From New York2004
34“Joanie Loves Johnny”Screeching WeaselWiggle1993
35“Johnny Get Angry”Joanie SommersJohnny Get Angry1962
36“Little Johnny Jewel”TelevisionLittle Johnny Jewel1975

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Television’s debut single “Little Johnny Jewel” was released on Ork Records (the same label that originally agreed to put out Misfits’ Bullet EP but the deal fell through). Richard Hell formed the group with Tom Verlaine but after a falling out left and started his own band, The Voivoids. After his departure, Richard Lloyd joined and they recorded the 7-minute epic debut. They must have enjoyed the jam session, because on their debut album Marquee Moon, they included the 10-minute epic title track to round out Side A.

00:40 After a minor charting hit in 1960 with “One Boy”, Joanie Sommers landed a #7 hit single with 1962’s “Johnny Get Angry”.  Once called “The Voice Of The Sixties”, Joanie wouldn’t repeat the success she found with “Johnny Get Angry”.  Now with clear hindsight, we can say Joanie was most likely not the voice of the sixties. Who do you think was?

01:10 Screeching Weasel play into the leather jacket Fonzie aesthetic that makes many a punk rock song fun. Keeping with that Happy Days vibe, Ben Weasel sings about the dreamed-up love affair between Joanie Cunningham and someone named Johnny. Perhaps its Johnny Suede? Or maybe this is a fantasy. I mean, the song does mention Fonzie getting fucked up on ‘ludes and Joanie and Johnny doing heroin. Screeching Weasel also covered “Johnny, Are You Queer?” on their 1994 album How To Make Enemies And Irritate People.

01:40 After Dead Moon was an old punk jam from The Gizmos, a band out of Bloomington, Indiana that’s had more lineup changes than records released.  While they never released an official full album, the band put out four EPs and split record before calling it quits.  We played “Johnny Got A Gun” from the compilation Rock & Roll Don’t Come From New York.

02:00 Alright Johnnies, that about does it for today. May the legend of Johnny live on forever in our collective imaginations. Now…what women’s name would be a good companion episode to this one….?

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37“Death Of Johnny Riviera”Ray Daytona And GoogoobombosSpace Patrol In Mission!2002

Check out ourList for all of the releases featured!

Heard To Find: The Dynettes – “Witness To A Heartbreak”

Artist: The Dynettes
Track: “Witness To A Heartbreak”
Release: New Guy / Witness To A Heartbreak (7″)
Year: 1965
Duration: 2:30

Maurice Williams scored a huge hit in 1960 when he and The Zodiacs put out the single “Stay”. At just 1:36 in length, the single would become the shortest song to ever reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in the United States. After groups like The Hollies and The Four Seasons laid down their own versions of the song and pushed it into an international audience, Maurice & The Zodiacs would reap the benefits. Jackson Browne interpolated it into the finale of his 1978 masterpiece album Running On Empty as “The Load Out / Stay” which again brought the song to new audiences. It wasn’t until the song’s inclusion on the 1987 soundtrack to the film Dirty Dancing, though, that it would sell it’s highest amount of copies.

In 1965, Maurice wrote and arranged a pair of tracks for the girl group The Dynettes to record. I can’t seem to find much on The Dynettes individually, but as the record suggests the song was recorded in Chicago, Illinois around 1964 under the production of Bill “Bunky” Sheppard. According to the comments section of this Nerdtorious.com post, the lead singer’s name was Idella and she was last known to reside in Charlotte, North Carolina. That’s it. That’s all I can find, and that’s assuming the comment is legit.

As for the song itself, it bounces along like a lollipoppy, mid-60s soul jam with a nice, clean guitar chasing the messy drumbeat backed up by an organ and a call and response type vocal setting. It’s a shame this one didn’t make it further up the charts.

I’m sure the saturation of sixties girl groups made for a challenge for anyone to break through to fame, especially with the absolute domination from Phil Spector and his Wall of Sound groups.

The A-side, “New Guy” is another gem, this time with a more up-tempo approach. I love how the deep horns back up the girls’ vocals in start contrast. This song could easily be found on a movie montage or soundtrack. Something Summer-y.

The Constellation Records catalog has all kinds of hidden soul gems from 1964-65 and you can currently find the Constellation of Rhythm & Blues compilation on streaming services. Give it a dig sometime, these songs are the epitome of “lost treasures”. Instead of posting links to just the Dynettes’ music, here’s the full compilation.

abp: coffee

Here’s the Spotify link to the playlist. You’re welcome to recreate it on any platform you choose. Just press play and read along, acting like the voice in your head is the DJ. The times listed are that of the song playing, not the full episode length. I play this with a 5-second cross-fade enabled. Have fun!

Intro

FMF#TrackArtistAlbumYear
1“Coffee In The Pot”SupergrassRoad To Rouen2005

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Hello and welcome to abp’s coffee episode! Today we honor one of the most famous and well-known drinks of the world; coffee! Java, espresso, cappuccino, Americano, cold-press, nitro-infused, etc.; the list of styles of the usually-served hot drink may be too long for the show. Are you a zombie before you get your morning brew? Does the caffeine addiction afflict you too? I hope you’ve had your dose of daily drip because we’re about to turn up the speed.

01:10 Historical accounts of humans consuming coffee for its energizing effects date back to at least the 15th century. East Central Africans first used the beans in the modern sense of roasting and brewing. Not much ahs changed since then in the form of preparation, though certain regions do things a little differently.

01:40 National Coffee Day is celebrated on September 29th each year in the United States. The day gives millions of people an excuse to celebrate their morning caffeine addiction by justifying it as a necessary step to our days. Yes, I am also one of those coffee heads. I’ll throw all the excuses at you that you’ve already heard; kids, job, stress, sleep, blah blah.

02:10 Have you ever drank too much coffee? I can definitely say that I have. That sick feeling, nauseous like you ate something terrible, all the while you’re blood seems to be at 1000 degrees and heart is pumping like it’s running a marathon. Suck. The Promdates, out of Norway, know all about that overdose, too. The lyrics to the next track describe that moment you realize you’ve gone too far. From their 2016 split with the Meeps, here’s Norway’s best coffee-guzzling punk band with “Coffee OD”.

Set 1: Coughy

2“Coffee OD”The PromdatesThe Punk Rock Rumble – Split EP2016
3“Coffee With You”CarbonaBack To Basics1999
4“Cappuccino”Lunatics On PogosticksSleeping Till The Weekend EP2014
5“Too Much Coffee”SWMRSBerkeley’s On Fire2019
6“409 In Your Coffeemaker”Green DaySlappy EP1990

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Sweet Children doesn’t really sound like a band that tours filling stadiums, does it? Or maybe it does, what the hell do I know? That’s what Green Day was originally called before moving to the more ambiguously colorful descriptor. Billie Joe Armstrong has been a vocal critic of the name, though, in 2001 stating it was the worst band name in the world. From early in their career on the Slappy EP, that was Green Day with “409 In Your Coffeemaker”.

00:40 A generation later, we move from Billie to Joey. Billie Joe’s son Joey Armstrong plays drums for Berkley band SWMRS. The band took influence from Green Day and others’ pop punk sound and mixed it with the EDM-tinged sounds of the 2010s. That was “Too Much Coffee” from Berkley’s On Fire.

01:10 From the West Coast, to the Gold Coast. Kinda. Lunatics On Pogosticks hail from Melbourne and channel all the right elements of garage rock. Slightly lo-fi sound, energy, simplicity, fun lyrics, they’re doing it right. The final track to their excellent 2014 EP Sleeping Till The Weekend, “Cappuccino” sits in the middle of the set.

01:40 Remaining in the Southern hemisphere, we heard Carbona from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The band takes their name from the Ramones song “Carbona Not Glue”, a track removed from their 1977 LP Leave Home because the company who made the stain remover Carbona didn’t want to be associated with, well, glue-sniffing. “Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue” might have fed them that worry. Carbona, the band, sand “Coffee With You” from their sophomore LP Back To Basics.

02:10 Up next, The Smugglers ask the age old question – “Coffee, Tea, Or Me?”. The Vancouver, British Columbia band kept garage rock alive and well in the 90s and into the 2000s before calling it quits. Their 2000 LP Rosie was released through the legendary Berkley, California punk label Lookout! Records, the same label that released Green Day’s early works. Here’s The Smugglers with “Coffee, Tea, Or Me?”

Intermission

7“Coffee Stained Shirt”Voodoo CourtThe Party’s Over2002

Set 2: Javabilly

8“Coffee, Tea, Or Me?”The SmugglersRosie2000
9“One More Cup Of Coffee”The White StripesThe White Stripes1999
10“Cup Of Coffee”The NovocainesRagdoll EP2009
11“One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette”Glen GlennLaurie Ann / One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette – 7″ Single1958
12“Coffee Break”The Rock N’ RollersRock ‘N Roll Time EP1958

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That song seems to have a very familiar…sound to it. Very Bill Haley-ish. Perhaps that’s because the Rock ‘N’ Rollers are a studio-exec crafted band created solely for the purpose of selling records in line with a fad. If that really is the case, is “The Rock ‘N” Rollers” really the most creative name they could find? Apt, I suppose. Still. The EP Rock ‘N’ Roll Time, directed by Ken Jones, is five basic as hell rock and roll songs, and I love it. That was “Coffee Break” from said EP.

00:40  Glen Glenn was a rhythm and blues rock and roller from the 50s that did everything he could to mimic the swinging pelvis seen on TV. That is, until he got drafted. Glen recorded a few songs in 1958 and they’d actually get pressed to wax, but only days after his music hit the public he was drafted to the war and his career was over. Slightly. He would re-emerge in the 80s and record collectors began hunting for those early singles. His best known song, “One Cup Of Coffee And A Cigarette” graced our ears just now.

01:10 When Jay Watson left The Novocaines to play drums for Tame Impala, the band thought it was over. However, they reformed and put out a solid EP in 2009 titled Ragdoll. The lead single “Cup Of Coffee” starts off paying homage to Dylan with the line “One more cup of coffee before I go”.

01:40 The White Stripes covered at least three songs on their debut LP, including the Bob Dylan Desire-era ballad. The others being old blues songs from Son House and Robert Johnson and a rendition of the traditional folk song “St. James Infirmary Blues”; a track which Dylan also covered. “One More Cup Of Coffee” followed the Smugglers.

02:10 Coming up next is a trip down percolator lane. A trip that starts out light and poppy and climaxes with some real heavy psychedelic stuff; as most trips go. Starting things off is a cut from the debut record of Montreal, Quebec group Rock ‘N’ Roll Television. Here comes a bright, up-tempo discharge of television jonesing from the band titled “Coffee At Least”.

Intermission

13“Java”Al HirtHoney In The Horn1963

Set 3: In The Mud

14“Coffee At Least”Rock ‘N’ Roll TelevisionRock ‘N’ Roll Television2008
15“Coffee Monkey”The Bottle RocketsLeftovers1998
16”Coffee With My Friends”Candy HeartsAll The Ways You Let Me Down2014
17”Coffee Cup”The WildflowerA Pot Of Flowers – Compilation1967
18“Coffee”Psychedelic Porn CrumpetsHigh Visceral, Pt. 22017

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Alright, pull your head out of the clouds now. We’re back on Earth. That sure was fun though. Another amazing Aussie group contributed to the set with Psychedelic Porn Crumpets doing “Coffee”. The song comes from the part two of their High Visceral releases. I wonder what Billie Joe Armstrong thinks of this band name?

00:40  The Wildflower, from A Pot Of Flowers, smoothed things out a bit after the Candy Hearts treat. Almost like a sip of warm coffee after a snowy breath. The Wildflower never released a proper album of their own, though they did compile all of their tracks for a release in 2008. The few songs they contributed to this comp, though, fit right in with the titular nature of the album and the whole San Fran peace-love-dope thing. We heard “Coffee Cup”.

01:10 As stated earlier, Candy Hearts represent their band name well in this set, bringing a light, poppy rock sound to what can usually be an intense set of songs around here. The New Jersey band put out two albums before reforming and renaming themselves Best Ex and going full-on pop. That was “Coffee With My Friends” from the group’s final album All The Ways You Let Me Down.

01:40 St. Louis, Missouri band The Bottle Rockets could easily be lumped into the 90s alt-country craze that took place, led by groups like Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Wilco, and the rest of the similar acts. But these guys seem to be a bit more raw, grittier, maybe even cowpunk-esque? From the Leftovers album, a literal collection of randos, that was “Coffee Monkey”.

02:10 Sometimes coffee is instant, sometimes coffee is black. Sometimes we just need to get back on the punkwagon. Up next is the seminal song from hardcore-turned-sludgepunk act Black Flag. After guitarist Greg Ginn took up a more heavy cannabis habit, things slowed down and Black Sabbath was channeled. The result spawned even more new groups looking to mimic this weird new slowed down punk thing. Here’s Black Flag doing “Black Coffee”.

Intermission

19”Black Coffee”Oscar PetersonIn A Romantic Mood1956

Set 4: On Legal Speed, The American Way

20”Black Coffee”Black FlagSlip It In1984
21“Black Coffee Blues”The Ringo JetsThe Ringo Jets2013
22”Coffee Mug”DescendentsEverything Sucks1996
23”Mr. Coffee”LagwagonDuh1992
24”Instant Coffee”BugsGrowing Up2020

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 What’s worse, instant coffee or bugs in your coffee? Bugs, obviously, you coffee snob. These Bugs, though, won’t bother you. Unless you really hate pop punk or Australian people. Brisbane group Bugs channel the late 90s/early 2000s pop punk sound while adding in new elements and lyrical relevance to the new world we live in. Of course, there are plenty of love songs though. That was “Instant Coffee” from Growing Up.

00:40 The artwork for today’s episode quotes Lagwagon’s “Mr. Coffee” from their 1992 debut Duh. Before they thought up such an eloquent band name, they were called Section VIII. Their demo tape made it to Fat Mike of NOFX/Fat Wreck Chords, who then decided to record them. A name change was in order, though. Singing “on legal speed, the American way”, that was Joey Cape and Lagwagon.

01:10 It was brief, but we got a hit of the most well known caffeine addict in the punk rock kingdom. That would be Milo Aukerman, singer of the Descendents. With many of his lyrics pointing toward his caffeine addiction and away from drugs or alcohol, Milo has championed the java jingle since the early days of the group in 1980. We heard “Coffee Mug” from 1994’s Everything Sucks.

01:40 Its not often we get Turkish rock and roll around here, so when we do I want to celebrate it. The Ringo Jets are one of the few, well-known garage rock groups in Turkey and dig up blues vibes along with their loud-fast energy. They covered Slim Harpo on their debut album, which closed out with “Black Coffee Blues”.

02:10 Londoners Margot are up next with a standalone single from 2018. “Coffee Stained Scars” was released before their debut EP Margotzeko and has yet to be placed on a physical medium. Still, that doesn’t mean I can’t play it. Here’s Margot sharing their love for BLTs.

Intermission

25”Instant Coffee”The JokersManha De Carnaval / Instant Coffee – 7″ Single1965

Set 5: Java Knife Party

26”Coffee Stained Scars”MargotCoffee Stained Scars – Single2018
27“Jave Jive”The PlattersJava Jive / Row The Boat Ashore – 7″ Single1964
28”Sugar In My Coffee”Deuces WildJohnny Rider1992
29”Knife In The Coffee”Car Seat HeadrestNervous Young Man2013
30”Coffee Girl”Skunk MonkeyEgo Deaf2020

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 Straight outta College Station, Texas and released on Valentine’s Day 2020, that was Skunk Monkey doing “Coffee Girl”. The band’s sophomore release Ego Deaf was led by the single “Cherry Girl” and includes a second coffee song – “Americano”. I liked this one more, though.

00:40 Will Toledo formed Car Seat Headrest as a solo project and released 12, yes 12 albums on Bandcamp before signing to Matador Records. This guy works. The final self-released album Nervous Young Man includes the finale “Knife In The Coffee”, a garage rock epic; how rare!

01:10 The 80s brought a resurgence of rockabilly thanks to the Stray Cats. Deuces Wild were fellow Brits in hope of achieving slicked back stardom. They released two LPs and one EP between 1989 and 1991 before dissolving. From the 2nd LP, Johnny Rider, we heard “Sugar In My Coffee”.

01:40 I couldn’t really find a punk cover of “Java Jive”, but it is absolutely necessary in a coffee show. Bob Dylan plays the original version from the Ink Spots on his coffee episode of Theme Time Radio Hour, but if I’m gonna do a punk and garage rock show about coffee I have to keep the tempo up! The Platters did a groovy version of the song in the mid 50s and included it on their Encore Of Golden Hits, perhaps being the most up-tempo version of a slow song about coffee.

02:10 Things get real weird with the next track. Its new wave-y, its punk-y, it sure is lyrically…interesting. With an ode to one of the best sensations that can come along with drinking hot liquid, dunking, we’ve got The Deep Freeze Mice. From their 1981 debut LP Teenage Head In My Refrigerator, this is “I Like Digestive Biscuits In My Coffee”. For those non-Europeans like myself, the name doesn’t necessarily imply the reaction when it comes to these cookies. Oh, and there’s a long intro so just stay tuned…

Intermission

31”Coffee & Smoke”KazamCoffee & Smoke2018

Set 6: Cream Or Sugar…Or Biscuit?

32”I Like Digestive Biscuits In My Coffee”The Deep Freeze MiceTeenage Head In My Refrigerator1981
33”Fast Coffee”Meggie BrownJourney Of Goodbye2020
34”Station Coffee”Jonathan Fire EaterWolf Songs For Lambs1997
35”A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop”Neil Young + The Promise Of The RealThe Monsanto Years2015
36”The Coffee Song’”Freedom’s ChildrenThe Coffee Song / Satisfaction – 7″ Single1967

00:10 (music fades low for voice-over)

00:15 That is how Cream should have recorded “The Coffee Song”. The South African group Fleadom’s Children took a song not included on US versions of Fresh Cream and gave it a heavier, psyched out sound. The group would change their name to Freedom’s Children after releasing the “Coffee” single, apparently for political reasons.

00:40 Speaking of politics, Neil Young practically made a name for himself writing about his political beliefs and causes. Neil has been a vocal opponent of all things unequal since his days with Buffalo Springfield. From his album with The Promise Of The Real, The Monsanto Years, Neil tackles corporations with “A Rock Star Bucks A Coffee Shop”. Without naming them, who do you think he was talking about?

01:10 Jonathan Fire*Eater was the origination of half of the members of The Walkmen. They released two albums and an EP before calling it quits in 1998. Many claim them to be largely influential on the NYC post-punk revival sound that would spawn acts like The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and more. From their second and final album, Wolf Songs For Lamb People, that was “Station Coffee”.

01:40 Although Meggie Brown isn’t a largely known name even in her hometown of London, she still managed to land an opening spot for The Hold Steady in 2020. That is, before the pandemic ruined live music. Her debut single was produced by Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos at Edwyn Collins’ studio, which is a fantastic starting point! We heard “Fast Coffee” from the Journey Of Goodbye EP.

02:10 Well mudheads, that brings us to the end of this episode. If you’ve been sipping your coffee while listening along, you may need to head to the bathroom right about now. Maybe not, I don’t judge. Thanks for listening and I’ll see you next time!

02:15 (music plays and fades out)

Outro

37”Italian Coffee”Fabrizio FornaciThe Surfaces Vol. 22016

Check out my List for all of the releases featured!

Heard To Find: Zap – “Football Stomp”

Artist: Zap
Track:“Football Stomp”
Release: Don’t Wanna Play / Football Stomp (7″)
Year: 1975
Duration: 3:14

Side B: “Football Stomp”

Back in 1975, Walter Kahn was riding the success of his Grammy-winning production of the single “Love Me Like A Rock” by The Dixie Hummingbirds. The Dixie Hummingbirds had recorded the Paul Simon-penned track with Paul at Muscle Shoals in 1973, but wanted to record their own version. Shortly after recording the original with Paul, they did just that. The Hummingbirds’ version won them a Grammy for Best Gospel Performance in 1974, with Walter getting an award for producing it. In 1975, Walter wrote, arranged, and produced a few singles for Grand Prix Records featuring studio musicians under fake band names like QVRS and Zap. A couple of these singles were sports themed, including the disco dance novelty tune “Phillies Fever” featuring 5 players of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise, Larry Bowa, Mike Schmidt, David Cash, Greg Luzinski and Garry Maddox. Another single, “Don’t Wanna Play”, was backed with the sporty B-side “Football Stomp”. That single flopped, but had very minor success in the Philadelphia area.

Later in Kahn’s career, he hit #1 on the Billboard Top Dance Singles chart with his production of The Movement’s 1992 Jock Jams-destined hit “Jump!“.

Continuing on with the hip-hop/dance inspired work, he would end up earning another Grammy nomination in 1995 for producing rapper Skee-Lo’s single “I Wish“.

Back to the “Stomp”, though. The song is a power pop ode to the NFL and that’s about as much as you can squeeze out of it. Towards the end of the song, Zap sings aloud all of the current NFL teams at the time, many of which sound like made up teams considering all of the expansion and city-hopping the league has done over the years. The Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would arrive the following year in 1976, along with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Baltimore Ravens, and Houston Texans in the years to come, but this 1975 snapshot serves a nostalgic glimpse into the days of yesteryear.

Side A: “Don’t Wanna Play”

The A-side, “Don’t Wanna Play” is a standard mid-70s pop rock song and isn’t nearly as remarkable as “Football Stomp”. There’s pretty much no way to market “Football Stomp” as a single, though, so it’s understandable.

Regardless of my or your opinion of the songs, I’d like to thank Walter and the rest of the production crew for putting this out. It was well worth the listen!